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2021 Rugby League News

Here’s a chronological look at news from the National Rugby League, Super League and other competitions in 2021.

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January 2021

1st

2nd

  • Huddersfield Giants investigating a minority of players who breached Tier 3 COVID protocols. The matter to be dealt with internally.

3rd

  • New Zealand Warriors fly out to Australia to mandatory quarantine ahead of the 2021 NRL Season.
  • Parramatta Eels clarify Junior Paulo’s availability following newspaper reports that he is scheduled to fight ex-NRL player Neville Costigan this month.
  • Tony Gigot released by Wakefield Trinity.

4th

5th

  • Kane Bradley joins North Queensland Cowboys (2022).
  • Tukimihia Simpkins joins Wests Tigers (2023).
  • Reports that Gareth Widdop is returning to the UK after missing out on a contract in the NRL.
  • Leeds Rhinos announce their 2021 squad numbers.
  • Stevie Ward retires from rugby league.
  • United Kingdom COVID lockdown results in the RFL advising Championship and League 1 clubs to pause training, while Super League clubs will need to follow protocols at training. The draw for the first two rounds of the Challenge Cup are on hold.

6th

7th

8th

  • Hull Kingston Rovers announce their 2021 squad numbers.
  • Leeds Rhinos Luke Gale suffers torn pec injury at training.

9th

10th

11th

12th

  • Canterbury Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill resigns.
  • Ryan Lannon (2023) and Josh Johnson (2023) re-sign with Salford Red Devils.
  • Wakefield Trinity promote Sam Eseh Junior (2024) and Patrick O’Donovan (2024) to their first team.
  • Lance Corporal Lloyd Wheeldon joins Castleford Tigers (1 month trial).

13th

14th

  • David Nofoaluma re-signs with Wests Tigers (2025).
  • Isaiah Tass joins Brisbane Broncos (2021-development).
  • Melbourne Storm launch their 2021 home jersey.
  • Former Newcastle Knights half Jarrod Mullen joins Sunshine Coast Falcons (2021).
  • Super League season delayed by two-weeks and will commence on March 25. The RFL have delayed the start of the Rugby League Championship and League 1.
  • Huddersfield Giants announce their 2021 squad numbers.

15th

16th

17th

  • Payne Haas arrested by NSW Police with offensive language and intimidating police.

18th

  • Huddersfield Giants Ashton Golding suffers a shoulder injury at training and will miss the start of the Super League season.

19th

  • NRL and Players Association agree to 6% reduction in 2021 ($9.02m) and 2022 ($9.11m) salary caps; $15,000 Origin payments for participating players.
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs Brock Gardner suffered a torn Achilles at training and is expected to miss 6-9 months.
  • Reports that ex-NRL referee boss Bernard Sutton has joined Melbourne Storm in a consultancy role.

20th

  • Brisbane Broncos Alex Glenn granted a testimonial match when they play North Queensland Cowboys in a trial match at Redcliffe on February 27.
  • Catalans Dragons release a statement clarifying reports about Israel Folau’s future following speculation he’s switching to rugby union: “The club and Israel Folau have been in constant dialogue since Christmas regarding a personal family situation. This along with Covid restrictions are currently preventing his return to France.”
  • Junior Moors leaves Castleford Tigers to join Featherstone Rovers (2021).

21st

  • Canberra Raiders Tom Starling has six of seven charges dropped by police during a court appearance in Gosford for an incident that occurred on December 5, 2020. He is pleading not guilty to the remaining charge.
  • Ethan Bullemor re-signs with Brisbane Broncos (2022).
  • Leeds Rhinos close their training grounds for a minimum of five days following six players and one staff member testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Huddersfield Giants close their training grounds for a minimum of five days following a number of positive tests for COVID-19.
  • Malakai Watene-Zelezniak has announced his retirement from rugby league following a recent health scare.
  • David Bolton passes away at age 83 (27/4/1937 to 21/1/2021). Bolton appeared 300 times for Wigan (1954-64), before heading to Balmain for 78 appearances (1965-1970). Bolton represented Great Britain eight times. He also coached the Parramatta Eels (1973-1974).

22nd

  • The RFL have announced the start of the Rugby League Championship on the weekend of Easter (April 2-4) with a top six play-off series in September and October. Championship 1 will start on the weekend of May 8-9.
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